Brain Fog and foods that help avoid it.
How do you feel throughout your busy days? Energetic and ready to take on the next challenge? Or, dreading another day where you feel slow, cloudy, and unmotivated? “Brain fog,” that uncomfortable lack of mental clarity, can lead to forgetfulness along with difficulty focusing, thinking, and even communicating and leave you fatigued, irritable, and even anxious. No thanks. Before you decide to just head back to bed, there are some simple lifestyle solutions to combat brain fog. To help you feel human again, here are some foods shown to support health and mental acuity:
Salmon is high in essential fatty acids (especially the brain-healthy omega-3 called docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA), protein, and vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin B12 and potassium). Studies have shown that increasing consumption of DHA can improve memory, reaction time, and cognitive function. Look for wild varieties and try to include salmon or another fatty fish into your nutrition plan at least twice a week.
2. Nuts & Seeds:
Convenient, delicious, and nutritious, nuts and seeds provide healthy fats (including omega-3s), fiber (which supports healthy blood sugar), numerous vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin E, manganese, and copper), amino acids, and polyphenols (which slow down the aging process in the brain by combating free radicals)—all shown to help support cognitive function. Enjoy an ounce of your favorite nuts or seeds, like walnuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, or pumpkin seeds every day for the potential brain benefits.
Low in calories and super high in nutrients, blueberries are convenient and provide fiber, vitamins (especially C and K), and manganese. Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant capacities among all fruits, vegetables, and seasonings. And, in one six-year study, 16,010 participants who regularly consumed berries (specifically blueberries and strawberries), enjoyed cognitive aging delays by as much as 2.5 years. Fresh or frozen, a handful of blueberries daily is delicious and may help your brain function at its best.
4. Green Leafy Veggies:
Rich in antioxidants and carotenoids (which give vegetables their wide array of colors), leafy greens such as spinach, Swiss chard, kale, and even mustard greens are known for providing high amounts of folate and Vitamin K, nutrients that may help improve focus, memory, and overall brain power. One study demonstrated that folks who enjoyed one or two servings of leafy greens per day enjoyed the thinking ability of folks who were up to 11 years younger. Go ahead and indulge with that “big salad” every day.
Commonly regarded as a fantastic source of healthy fats (e.g., oleic acid), avocados are also very high in other nutrients—they provide 7 grams of fiber, have more potassium than bananas, and also provide plenty of vitamins (such as K, C, E, and folate) and antioxidants. Avocados also provide monounsaturated fats, which support healthy blood flow to the brain. One study showed that these healthy fats help protect nerve cells which carry information throughout the nervous system. Feel free to dip into some guacamole or add a quarter of an avocado to your salad daily.
Eating these foods alone won’t completely eliminate brain fog. It’s also important to ensure you’re getting enough quality sleep, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and reducing simple carbs and sugars, which contribute to brain fog.